x PhoneArena is looking for new authors in New York! To view all available positions, click here.
  • Home
  • News
  • GPS interference tests "unfair" claims LightSquared

GPS interference tests "unfair" claims LightSquared

Posted: , by Alan F.

Tags:

GPS interference tests
There is a lot of money at stake with LightSquared's wholesale mobile network. Besides high priced contracts with Sprint and other potential customers, many vulture investors are investing big bucks hoping to have a say in the restructuring of the company if it goes bankrupt. At the heart of the matter is the interference to GPS systems that the government claims comes from LightSquared's technology. The problem is that traffic on LightSquarted's network would bleed into the GPS system.

Tests done in 2010 by the Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing National Executive Committee forced LightSquared to move the frequency it uses to one as far away as possible from any neighboring GPS signals, but re-tests came to the same conclusion. LightSquared said it never received the results of that test and didn't know exactly what needed to be fixed. The company has released some correspondence between it and the U.S. Air Force Space Command, which had conducted the tests. The e-mails between a LightSquared executive and the Air Force reveal the former's complaint that the tests were done outside of parameters agreed to by the company.

Part of the e-mail from the wholesale network supplier read, "Specifically addressing the conducted testing that is underway at SPAWAR, we object to this phase as it is also outside of the process defined by NTIA. This element of Space Command’s test program was developed by it alone, without LightSquared even being provided a copy of this part of the test plan." As we said, the government originally refused to supply LightSquared with a copy of the test results or the key codes that would allow LightSquared to match a particular device with a particular test result. The company says it was more than a coincidence that the military delayed notifying the GPS manufacturers of their request for the key codes. This delay on the part of the Air Force Space Command meant that the previously agreed upon 14 day waiting period between the request of a key code and its release ended exactly on Christmas Day when the entire government was shut down for two days.

While LightSquared eventually did get to see the tests, they cannot be shown to anyone else including the media or third-party engineers. No one knows which side is right. Those who view the results must sign a non-disclosure with severe penalties for violating them. Which begs the question, what is being hidden here? Is there a reason why LightSquared has continued to fail the test even though it has claimed to have moved the frequency that it uses? LightSquared says that there is a conflict of interest with the Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing National Executive Committee, and that the government tests are unfair, but there needs to be an end to this process one way or the other. This has been going on too long with too much money already tied up.

Probably the fairest thing that can happen would be for the U.S. and LightSquared to release to the public all documents relating to the testing that are not confidential. Give LightSquared's engineers one last chance to solve the interference problem using the data that they have. Time is of the essence as Sprint is giving the company just until next month to get everything solved. Billions of dollars are on the line here as well as the possible additional network capacity for some carriers.

source: eWeek

4 Comments
  • Options
    Close




posted on 27 Jan 2012, 02:07

1. belovedson (Posts: 832; Member since: 30 Nov 2010)


presure time

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 02:34

2. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5759; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Waaaa! See what happens when you try to go up against Uncle Sam? Uncle Sam ain't gonna dump its legacy GPS investment. Unless and until LightSquared figures out how to make Uncle Sam's legacy GPS systems not be affected by the LightSquared signal, they can kiss goodbye to turning on their signal in the U.S.

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 16:01

3. Uzzelien (Posts: 131; Member since: 22 Feb 2011)


There is a very simple solution here...give them a different spectrum and charge the GPS makes for what they have stolen.

posted on 28 Jan 2012, 00:30

4. Forsaken77 (Posts: 547; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)


This article is a little off. LightSquared didn't want to move their spectrum they were using. They had two different bands they were using. One band interfered completely and then LightSquared said they won't use that band and that the further band should suffice with filters. But without filters the band isn't far enough that it doesn't come dangerously close to the gps bands. This is the problem. LightSquared thinks it should be able to filter all the gps bands so they won't get interfered with. The government doesn't want that, and I agree. If one of these filters fails it could cause catastrophic incidents around the world. The government also said they're making legislation that spectrum bands have to be confirmed good for use BEFORE entering into business deals so this never happens again. Now both LightSquared and Sprint are screwed. That was supposed to be Sprints' LTE network.... not any more.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories